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DHS to allow non-citizens to report labor violations without fear of retaliation

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that non-citizens will now be able to report labor violations without fear of retaliation. File Photo by Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/UPI
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that non-citizens will now be able to report labor violations without fear of retaliation. File Photo by Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The Department of Homeland Security said on Friday that non-citizen workers will now be able to report labor violations without having their immigration status held against them.

DHS will use the deferred action authority it has that gives non-citizens the ability to work in the United States. Deferred actions protects those workers from retaliation by exploitive employers.

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"Unscrupulous employers who prey on the vulnerability of non-citizen workers harm all workers and disadvantage businesses who play by the rules," Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. "We will hold these predatory actors accountable by encouraging all workers to assert their rights, report violations they have suffered or observed, and cooperate in labor-standards investigations. Through these efforts, and with our labor agency partners, we will effectively protect the American labor market, the conditions of the American worksite, and the dignity of the workers who power our economy."

Non-citizen workers are often reluctant to report non-payment of wages, unsafe working conditions and other unlawful conditions because of a fear of punishment.

DHS is also streamlining the intake process for these violations by allowing non-citizens to submit such requests to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The agency will also provide additional security to some workers who report violations.

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